Jallikattu festival: subject of discussion in India

Thursday, January 21st 2016

The Jallikattu Festival, an event with bulls in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is subject of discussion in India as well as abroad. In 2014, the Jallikattu Festival was prohibited by the Supreme Court, together with other types of festivities with animals. Still, recently, the Jallikattu Festival could have come back with permission of the government. The Supreme Court decided that the government has to respect the law and that the festival should stay prohibited.

On May 7 2014, the Jallikattu Festival was prohibited together with other events like races and fights with animals. The main purpose was to prevent unnecessary suffering and pain and to ensure that animals will not be encouraged to fight with other animals or humans. The government is not allowed to permit these events.

During Jallikattu, people from the public could attempt to catch rewards attached to the horns of the bulls. Although no weapons were permitted during the festival, the bulls were treated roughly and there is evidence of animal suffering. Despite the actual law in India, the MoEF&CC (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change) gave permission for another Jallikattu Festival. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court needed to intervene.

India has good animal welfare laws, but these are regularly not being respected or implemented. Especially the provincial authorities do not follow the law and the police does very little or nothing to stop these events.

And new infringements are taking place after the debate about the prohibition of the Jallikattu Festival. The AWBI (Animal Welfare Board of India) sent a letter to the local authorities of Karnataka requesting to stop the Kambala races with buffaloes in this state. In this letter, the AWBI uses the statement made by the Indian Supreme Court about the prohibition of the Jallikattu Festival and other events with animals.  If the local authorities do not respect the sentence of the Supreme Court, they may be brought before the court. The last word on cruel animal events in India has not been spoken yet.

Fighting bulls India
Fight between bulls

In 2014, India took the very important step of abolishing centuries old traditions because of animal maltreatment. The country became an example to other countries where similar events with animals were not banned because of their supposed cultural value. India might lose its status as a progressive nation in regards to animal welfare and legislation if it, again, starts permitting cruel events with animals.

CAS International is worried about the actual developments in India and will do everything in its power to end the illegal events with bulls and other animals. Please keep an eye on our website for recent news and actions to stop fights and races with animals and cruel festivals in India!

Please sign our petition against illegal festivals with animals in India:

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